Wednesday, 2 November 2011


I had (as you might have surmised from my failure to post since Friday) a great time this weekend. Come the Friday night and a friend arrived from deepest Wales. I haven't seen him in a few months, and we had a great time catching up and a spot of food and drink to ease the flow of things. He also bought and brought me a bottle of Penderyn peaty Welsh whiskey, which we had a bit of then, a bit more of the next night, and which I am just finishing off now. I am in a minority among my friends, but peaty whiskey is just awesome. When it came to the next day, confusion arose. I woke up about 10am, stumbled myopically out of bed, showered, and hobbled off to do some shopping, having checked Jude was not yet about. Jude, having checked twenty minutes before that my door was not open, had retired to his room until I arose.

I returned from shopping, and all became clear. So I got my poor starved friend some breakfast! It was about midday by now, and I had planned ahead for tardiness. I fear I may have been confounded by a counter-conspiracy. Si is always late, and I've evolved to respond to this. So, after telling my other guests to arrive between 2 and 2:30, I bade him arrive at 1. As it happens, all the other guests were late, too, and so it was only around 4:30 that the last straggler trailed in. I would say that I didn't mind, but whenever people say that, it always means they minded. So, um, I did mind? Hugely? However much I minded, I certainly wasn't amused, oh, no, and definitely did not decide to evolve in response by telling everyone to arrive three hours early next time. Noooo. :-D

When everyone had arrived, and had a drink in hand, and I had forced on them a vegan pumpkin cheesecake (a little soggy, but I know what went wrong! It was acclaimed universally as tasty, anyway!), we had a lovely chin-wag for a while. See, I can't get annoyed about tardiness when I expect it, and my prime pleasure in these gatherings is getting to see friends (ok: and fiddling in the kitchen). Having gathered everyone to the Accusing Parlour (see Futurama, bemused readers), I then compelled them to devilish games. That's how some people feel about Trivial Pursuit, anyway. ;-) For the sake of a scrupulously accurate account, and not in any way to crow about victory, I feel I must admit that Jude and I won. That said, it was a very narrow-run thing. Laura and Berni took an early lead. Nathan and Mawbs popped up in a convincing position just after. Then we had a spurt of good questions and die rolls. Suddenly Laura and Berni had the same, and were on five cheeses. But again fortuna amat audentes - well, we were bold enough to roll a die ;-) - and Jude and I slipped into victory. I have to say that I have never seen so unlucky a collection of rolls and questions as Si and Tammy got in that game. It even managed to make my wargaming dice-rolls look good!

A small break so that nobody feels a pressing need to throttle me, and then I drove us onward to a game of Cranium. I can't describe this game without sounding like an advertisement. Suffice to say that there are four types of question: those involving words (spelling, anagrams, fill in the blanks), those involving traditional party games (charades, impersonations), drawing games (at which I am hopeless), and your standard fact-checking stuff. We combined the teams from the last game, so this time, Si, Tammy, Jude and I faced Mawbs, Nathan, Berni and Laura. The game see-sawed back and forth, and then our lot managed to make a final dash for victory. I love Trivial Pursuit, and when I can, I will play it. Come a birthday, I'll drive people who hate it to play it, secure in the knowledge that none can complain. You can punch me next time you see me folks! ;-) Cranium, on the other hand, I can force on friends at any event. I love Yellow questions, and my friend, Heidi, loves those Blues. Nathan's a dab-hand at those Reds, and everyone loves a Green card. Um, especially immigrants to the USA, I suppose.

As well as the victory in two games, presents abounded. Jude, as I say, brought me peaty Penderyn, Laura made me some vegan brownies, which were delicious! Nathan and Berni got me an awesome t-shirt, most apt to my hobbies: it's for World of Tanks, a game I'd surely play if I had a stronger computer! :-D Si and Tammy got me a perfect combination of gifts: a book (of title and nature secret, known only to those present at the party and Martyn, Kev and Kat - and other halves) and a 21year-old Scotch from the Mortlach Distillery, which is about the smoothest I have ever imbibed. After the presents, I provided my  guests with a curse, or so they may have subsequently remarked. Mint Juleps are very tasty, and this concoction was also exceptionally strong. I believe that Si remarked (how genteel that sounds) that it was like "getting kicked in the face by a delicious boot" (less genteel now).

Having attempted and failed to give my guests alcohol poisoning, the majority of them left. I sat up for two or three hours, eating enough high-fat foods to ensure I would not be wracked on the rack of hangovers the next day. ;-) Having said farewell to Si, Tammy and Jude on the Sunday, I relapsed into sitting in a chair for a bit! Another friend, busy on the Saturday, invited me over for the Monday. I suspect I missed a seance, so thankee, Debbie, for telling me to arrive late! ;-) Seriously, I fancy it is indeed not by bag, baby, as Mr Powers would say. ;-)  I had a lovely chat with pretty much everybody, and was especially taken with Russell's talk of Viking longships. In retrospect, I feel I ought to have asked him whether he knew my old sensei, Tony. Next time!

Waking on the Tuesday, I felt a bit too dry - not on account of alcohol the night before, but because the house is so comfortable when kept at a pleasant temperature. I toddled home, got back here, slumped into bed, and this morning had a message from San Salvator himself, Rahul, that he might be here tonight. He was! In accord with this communique, I deployed all sorts of non-alcoholic refreshment. He was abstemiousness itself, officer. Really, he only wanted water. Need you local colour as confirmation? He remarked on my drinking of flat Coke (horribile dictu), comparing it to that of an old friend, Alex, who once drank same.

This takes us to tonight, dear readers. I have, I assure you, been painting white trim on the shoulder straps of my WWI Germans, but they still don't have their bases, so maybe you just don't care. I do mean shortly to pop up some actual pictures on this wargaming blog of wargaming things I have wargamingly done, my fellow wargamerinos. Is it wargamerinoes? That seems so . . . Cranium and not Trivial Pursuit. ;-) Adieu, mes amis! :-D

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